New Year, New You?

So we’ve entered the New Year in style, we’ve eaten our own bodyweight in chocolate and our credit cards have taken a battering over the festive period and subsequent sales.  For most of us, the only thing that is lighter, is our purse.

The TV and magazines are full of advertising for healthy eating and weight loss plans, and local gyms are falling over themselves to secure those membership numbers that will keep their coffers full for the next year (even though attendance will NEVER be at capacity because, let’s face it, we’ll go for a month or two, and then give up)!

But ask yourself this: do we ever think of those people who actually need to gain weight rather than lose it?  For some, the struggle is real.  In a time where it’s not PC to point out that someone is fat, the same courtesy isn’t often extended to the underweight. And believe it or not, they can struggle with similar kinds of body image issues as the overweight.

But there are ways to safely gain weight – and loading up on sugars and saturated fats isn’t the answer! We’ve picked out some of the heathiest foods and drinks that can help you put on a few pounds steadily and over time.  Here are our top 5!

  1. Homemade smoothies

Making your own smoothie is the sure fire way to make sure all you consume is healthy, and not loaded with added sugar like most of the shop bought varieties.  There are countless recipes online, and you can add protein powders, and swap out dairy for almond or coconut milk.  The more fruit and veg you can pack in the better, and blending in some ice will help to thicken it.

  1. Milk

Full of protein, milk is a natural muscle builder!  Whether you choose dairy, or a nut milk such as almond, you can’t go wrong with a glass of the white stuff!  It’s worth noting that almond milk will give you a vitamin D boost which you won’t get from cow’s milk.

  1. Pulses

Rice is a relatively cheap to buy carb which contains 190 calories in 1 cup.  Nuts and nut butters are also calorie dense and can be added to a variety of dishes and meals and even smoothies! Be careful when selecting nut butters to choose ones with no added sugars or extra oils.

  1. Avocados

Perfect as 1 of your 5-a-day! Avocados are loaded with healthy fats and containing an average of 300 calories per pear, could be a daily staple to help you store up on calories in a healthy way!

  1. Eggs

Although not particularly high in calories, eggs are perfect for building muscle mass.  Packed with proteins and healthy fats, you’ll be hard pushed to find a nutritious alternative.  In the past, eggs were thought to be linked with high cholesterol, but recent studies have proven this to be a myth. Eat as many as you like!

As with all eating plans, it’s really important to keep your organs ticking over by drinking plenty of water to flush out any toxins.  Whatever you choose to eat this New Year, stick to the rule of thumb, and try and drink 8 glasses.